In every other city on April 22, it will be Earth Day and people will be participating in the very first March For Science, a public display of support for the passion for science and a call to support and safeguard the scientific community.
But this is Louisville. Instead, there will be an air show, featuring military-grade aircraft, followed by a megaton of fireworks set off over the Ohio River for Thunder Over Louisville.
But don’t worry, Louisville will be having its own March for Science/People’s Climate March (the two events have merged — the climate change march is happening nationally on April 29), just a day later, on Sunday, April 23.
Last year’s election ushered in a new era in the politics of science. President Trump believes climate change was made up by Chinese politicians. Former Vice President Biden called the Trump administration’s cuts to the National Institute for Health “draconian.” And “fake news” referring to actual fact has become a catch phrase in 2017.
“The current administration’s proposed budget cuts will cripple research in the United States while gagging governmental organizations will hinder progress, ” said lead march organizer Ashley Best. Without strong support from Congress and the White House, the U.S. will continue to lose its position as a leader in science and technology.”
Best is a doctoral student at the University of Louisville.
The Louisville march will kick off with a rally at Louisville Metro Hall at 1 p.m.
“As far as speakers go, we’ll be hearing from Sarah Lynne Cunningham, an environmental engineer, professor at UofL and director of the Louisville Climate Action Network,” co-organizer Kara Ward told IL in an email. “We also will be hearing from Dr. Keith Mountain, chair and associate professor of the UofL Department of Geography and Geosciences. A few other speakers are still in the works, but it’s shaping up to be a really great event”
The path that the march will take is a square, beginning and ending at Metro Hall. The gathering will travel down Fifth Street to Main, west on Main to Eighth Street, up Eighth to Jefferson and east on Jefferson back to Metro Hall.
T-shirts are available on Teespring for $15. The front reads “keep louisville scientific” and the back has a stylized map of the state.
ASL interpreting services will be provided by Language in Motion Interpreting in collaboration with UofL’s American Sign Language Interpreting Studies program.
Marches for Science is happening in more than 400 cities around the world. There are marches planned in Lexington and Bowling Green. The “main” march is at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The event in D.C. will be live streamed for those who can’t make it.
Ward said the plans for the response have received a “tremendously positive response.”
The march is nonpartisan and nonviolent. The national event’s website asserts,”We will not let our movement be defined by any one politician or party nor do we try to advance the prospects of any party or individual.”
Parking is free at meters on Sundays. There is also a parking garage on Market between Fifth and Sixth.